Apr 8, 2024 - News

Eclipse guide: Central Texas' time in totality

A group of five children wearing eclipse viewing glasses look towards the sky in amazement.

Kids watching the 2017 eclipse. Photo Bruce Bennett via Getty Images

Cloudy skies and all, it's total solar eclipse time in Central Texas, including parts of San Antonio.

Why it matters: It's been more than 600 years since the total solar eclipse passed over our area — San Antonio wasn't even established then — and the phenomenon won't return to our neck of the woods for a few more hundred years.

Yes, but: Clouds will likely dampen our viewing experience.

  • While we might not be able to get a perfect view, the cloaked sun will still cause daytime to momentarily shift into night, as Bill Nye explained.

Catch up quick: We rounded up some essentials to know before you go. But first, check this map to see what time the eclipse will pass through your area.

Weather

Clouds are public enemy No. 1 for eclipse enthusiasts – which, let's be real, that's all of us.

  • National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Runyen said we can only hope for more translucent cirrus clouds.
  • There's no use trying to make a last-minute trip to dodge the clouds, either. Runyen says it's a "uniform forecast" of clouds for the Texas viewing area.
  • If the clouds have convinced you to stay in San Antonio proper, the city is offering viewing events at parks, some of which are in the path of totality.

Traffic

  • TxDOT issued a heavy traffic advisory for essentially every major highway in San Antonio from 8am to 8pm on Monday, so be prepared if you're traveling away from your neighborhood.

More driving tips include:

  • Expect sudden stops by drivers.
  • Watch out for distracted pedestrians looking to the sky.
  • Keep your headlights on while driving, even in the daylight.
  • Do not wear eclipse glasses while driving.
  • Find a safe, designated space to park before the eclipse. Do not stop in the middle of the road or on the shoulder.

More things to watch

  • Your pets. Animals have been known to exhibit erratic behavior like howling, anxiety and sudden desire for breeding during such cosmic events, according to a study of 17 species in the journal Animals.
  • About 15 minutes before totality, the ambient light will be "eerie or strange," even if it's cloudy, according to the NASA Solar Eclipse Guide
  • One to two minutes before totality, watch for shadow bands, which look like rippling waves on white or light surfaces, the guide says.

The bottom line: Despite the potential interference of clouds, witnessing a solar eclipse and the intricate phenomena that come with it remains a captivating experience worth pausing your day for.

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